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Hitting Red

July 12, 2011

During the time on my course, I did a session where I was recording in the style of a genre. I recorded Blink-182’s classic “What’s My Age Again” and researched techniques which Jerry Finn used. One of these techniques was using a large diaphragm condenser on the top head of a snare drum whilst using an SM57 underneath. Me forgetting the fact that condensers are more sensitive than dynamics and can’t quite handle the high SPLs which you get from loud sources like drums, my gain was set to virtually zero and was still clipping from using my NT1-A.

I only realised this when I took the tracks home and listened back to them on my monitors hearing that the snare drum hits kept cutting out and the hits which could be heard were so distorted anyway – a silly mistake. Annoyingly, my Firestudio Projects don’t have pad switches on the pres so I have no way of lowering the input gain any further than zero if sources are way to loud and still clipping the signal.

So enough of the backstory, I bought this handy little device from Sontronics which will solve that issue. I can also reverse the phase of a mic with this too so I can do this immediately at the source and not worry about doing it in software. So if I ever decide to use the NT1-A under a snare, I can engage the pad switch and reverse the phase of the mic – happy days!

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